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Many Strong Voices (MSV) - Small Islands Developing States

Submitted by Michael Rastall 2nd April 2014 11:02

Project Description

A schoolgirl in Fiji. © Andrew Sheehy/Portraits of Resilience/MSV.

MSV is a collaborative programme with the goal of promoting the well-being, security and sustainability of coastal communities in the Arctic and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the face of climate change, by bringing these regions together to take action on mitigation and adaptation.The MSV programme is made up of a consortium of partners represented by nearly 20 Arctic and SIDS nations.

Why link the Arctic and Small Islands Developing States?

At first glance, the Arctic and Small Island Developing States appear to have little in common. Yet Arctic and SIDS societies share characteristics of vulnerability and resilience, and both of their environments are sensitive to climate change impacts. 

Although natural and human environments in the two regions differ markedly, the effects of climate change threaten the ecology, economies, and the social and cultural fabric of both regions posing serious challenges for their sustainable development. While communities in both regions have adapted to changing conditions in the past, climate change presents a new and formidable challenge. 

The impact of climate change on coastal zones is an important common denominator between the two regions and provides a context for comparing vulnerability and adaptation processes. Developing adaptation strategies that contribute to sustainable development in both regions is the key to their longterm survival. At the same time, successful adaptation requires immediate and deep cuts to global greenhouse gas emissions. 

Methods and Tools

Many Strong Voices' activities are developing along a number of parallel tracks, including research, assessment, networking facilitation, support to regions and communities, communication and outreach, and action on climate change mitigation. Together, these activities respond to three core objectives of MSV, which are to:  

Build a stronger voice in international negotiations 

MSV is working to increase collaboration and build capacity in the Arctic and Small Island Developing States, so that the people in these vulnerable regions have a stronger voice in negotiating international and national measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as developing and implementing adaptation strategies at the local, national regional and international levels.  

Raise awareness about the effects of climate change on vulnerable regions 

MSV is working to raise awareness about the effects of climate change on vulnerable regions in general, and on the Arctic and Small Island Developing States in particular.  

Increase understanding of the needs, solutions, and practical measures for adaptation 

MSV is working to develop community-driven comparative and integrated research on the socio-economic and natural conditions that shape vulnerability and capacity to adapt to climate change. It is also undertaking practical, on-the-ground projects on adaptation in coastal communities in the Arctic and Small Island Developing States.